YOU can expect the unexpected when the blues meets folk at the Down Arts Centre.
On Friday 5 October at 8pm, celebrated writer and Bob Dylan expert Michael Gray will present Bob Dylan and the Poetry of the Blues, followed on Sunday 7 October, 8pm by a performance of the leading lights in Irish traditional music, At First Light.
Bob Dylan and the Poetry of the Blues is more one-man-show than talk. With wit and style, Michael Gray, the author of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia and Song & Dance Man III: The Art Of Bob Dylan, uses great records and rare footage to show how hugely Dylan has been inspired by the blues and how much of its poetry has been smuggled inside his own, highly influential writing.
Michael has performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, to a packed house at the New School in New York City, and on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin, where he drew the largest crowd of any external speaker in the previous two years. In 2009 he completed a 25-date spring tour of the UK, Ireland and North America. He played dates in the US mid-west earlier this year and is touring the UK this autumn.
Michael Gray’s events are always lively and spontaneous, witty and acute, using unpredictable slices of loud music to offer a thoroughly entertaining, fresh account of Dylan’s achievement and a thrilling exposition of blues and its poetry. This event is a must for fans of Bob Dylan and the Blues.
At First Light.
Mixing traditional Irish songs with the power and delicacy of duelling pipes, fiddle, whistles, guitar, bouzouki and bodhrán, At First Light create a sonic landscape that takes the audience on a journey of discovery from the roots to the future of the Irish tradition.
The pedigree of each individual musician is outstanding, their experience and sheer mastery of the music evident for all to see, but it is when their considerable talents are combined that you can expect the unexpected.
At First Light are set to literally light the way for authentic Irish Traditional music this decade with their debut album, ‘Idir’. John McSherry, Dónal O’Connor, Francis McIlduff and Ciara McCrickard demonstrate masterful musicianship in exploring fresh perspectives on the living tradition.
Newest band member, Ciara McCrickard, carries the pedigree of the great Ulster song tradition into the new millennium, having learned at the feet of many of the masters. Her crystalline tone and intricate turns, combined with her vocal honesty, bring to audiences, a voice that only comes along once in a generation.
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To purchase tickets (Bob Dylan and the Poetry of the Blues £10 / £8; At First Light £12 / £10) and for further information on any Down Arts Centre events, please contact the box office on 028 4461 0747. The complete Down Arts Centre Season Programme is available to download at www.downartscentre.com